Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. If I have my calculations right this article should be ready for the...

Hello and welcome back to the wonderful world of the Dogpound. If I have my calculations right this article should be ready for the Labor Day issue and again maybe not. Of late I have not had a lot of success in making those special dates…sometimes early… sometimes late; as Max would say… looking down from above… “You dumb-dumb…you missed it again!” Of course in his loving but mocking way.

It is really hard to believe that Labor Day is already here…it seems just like yesterday when I took Max into the vet for the last time right after the Fourth of July. I had brushed Max down the night before (he loved to be brushed) and cleaned him up for his last car ride. I put two large dog beds in the back of the CRV so he would be elevated high enough, so even laying down he could see the country-side. One thing Max loved to do more than anything was to go for a ride. I could be two rooms away and whisper, “Max…want to go for a ride?” and he would come running. He would look at me with his ears pointing straight trying to determine if I was kidding or not. I would dangle the keys in front of his face, and he would run to the door…wait a few seconds, then he would come back again as if to say,” Come on..let’s go slow-poke.”

When we first started riding together I had a small Nissan Pick-up truck that had a bench seat. He would sit on the passenger side staring straight ahead…always afraid he would miss something. The problem with a bench seat is that it only had one arm rest in the middle and Max always wanted more than his share. He would back into it so much that there was no room for me. I would shove his butt out of the way, then 15 minutes later he was taking control of the center arm piece again.

When I got my Honda CRV, Max no longer had to ride shot-gun; he could ride in the back. However, Max really did not like riding that far back from where the action was, so I had to fold the seats down allowing him to stick his head up between the front seats..where he stood…just stood. He seldom if ever laid down to sleep…and if he did it was only for a few minutes. He was determined not to miss a thing…and sometimes he would get so sleepy that his head would fall forward catching his throat on the divider enlisting a hack and cough. Max would step back a few steps…shake his head and return to his starting position for the full ride no matter how long we were on the road together.

On that July day, I wrapped Max in a pretty flowered bed sheet and carried him out to the car for his last ride and laid him carefully on the stacked beds. It was a beautiful country morning; the air was still cool, and the sun was shining through filtering clouds. I rolled all the windows down so Max could feel the cool air and take in all the country smells. I drove slowly trying to make the trip last as long as possible. I watched Max in my rearview mirror, his ears were up and there was a special glint in his eyes…he loved to ride..even if had to do so flat on his back. I do not know if Max knew what was going to happen, but he seemed to be very content when I carried him into the vet’s office..more so than me. I knew I was going to lose my long time companion and buddy of 14-plus years…but I also knew that it was the right thing to do for Max.

OK, got to stop now. As always, be good, do good, play safe and remember memories last forever…make as many as you can.

JR